Peacocks in Miami: Should They Stay or Should They Go?

Every mating season - typically February to March - they start to ruffle some feathers and not just their own

NBC Universal, Inc.

There could be up to some 1,500 peacocks living in South Miami, according to researchers. Now there’s a debate: should they stay or should they go. As NBC 6 found out, there’s really no middle ground.

“I, in part, bought this house because of the peacocks,” said Bettina Abascal, who lives in the area.

To say they’re beloved is an understatement. To some, they’re almost like family.

“This one peacock, we named him Phil. We got to know him pretty well,” said Fausti Garcia, another resident. 

But every mating season - typically February to March - they start to ruffle some feathers and not just their own.

“We get complaints about pecking on car, roof damage,” said Miami-Dade County Commissioner Raquel Regalado. 

Regalado represents Miami-Dade's 7th district, where you don’t have to wait long to spot them literally shaking their tailfeathers.

“If they decide to create their nest in your home, they get very aggressive,” said Regalado.

One South Miami resident, who asked us to conceal his identity, said the peacock issue is antagonizing. 

“It’s something we don’t talk about because it’s a sore subject,” they said.

The peacocks peck at cars, which can damage the vehicles. They also release bodily fluids and tend to jump on roofs and can cause property damage.

“It cost about $3,000 to fix patio and $1,000 to get a car fixed,” the neighbor said. “We have no desire to see them killed. We just want the ones causing problems to move somewhere they can live happy without causing problems.”

A 2001 county law prohibits moving the birds, so Regalado sponsored an ordinance that would allow municipalities to opt out of the law - which is when the subject of euthanasia was brought up.

Eventually, the county commissioners agreed to allow municipalities find other ways to deal with them. But just the mention of it angered residents like Abascal, who started an online petition to save the peacocks that has garnered some 2,500 signatures.

“They’re a part of our neighborhood and we should learn to co-exist with them,” Abascal said.

Regalado says she also doesn’t want to see them killed and that if the ordinance would not allow it, she wants to find a sanctuary for disruptive peacocks.

“I like peacocks. No I don’t want to get rid of them, but I want options,” Regalado said.

Contact Us